Molweni! Starting your search for African boy names for your new arrival? Congratulations.
Africa is a vast continent. It’s home to over 3,000 ethnic groups, with almost as many languages. And the African diaspora spans the globe. So when we talk about African boy names, the category is wide.
African names for boys come from naming traditions that are complex, rich, and varied. They speak to the status of the family’s well-being at the time of the birth of the baby, family birth order, spirituality, time of birth, and hopes for the future.
Long understood as humanity’s birthplace, the richness of language and tradition on this continent is unique and powerful.
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the most in-demand options for African baby boy names:
In this article: 📝
- What are popular African names?
- South African boy names
- East African boy names
- West African boy names
- North African boy names
- African American boy names
What are popular African names?
Here are some of the winning entries:
- Abdullah. Servant of God.
- Amari. Meaning eternal. This name pops up in cultures all over the world, including Yoruba.
- Bongani. The grateful one.
- Femi. The full name is usually Olufemi. Which means God loves me. The Femi part means love me. Which is also lovely.
- Hakim. The ruler. Or wise. Powerful either way you spin it.
- Lethabo. Often shortened to Thabo, this popular name means happiness and joy.
- Mandla. Strength. 💪🏾
- Ola. Popular in West Africa but also with roots all over the world, Ola means high or arise.
- Sipho. Gift. 🎁 You’re welcome.
- Siyabonga. Thank you. We are grateful.
And now let’s take a trip around the continent. ✈️ 🌍
South African boy names
(South Africa is a country. The Southern African region includes Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Our names come from all of these places.)*
- Amogelang. Receive. 🙏🏾
- Arno. Afrikaans with Germanic roots, Arno means eagle.🦅
- Bandile. The family is growing.
- Dakarai. A Shona name meaning happiness. And there’s Dakarai Allen, if you’re looking to inspire a baller in the house. 🏀
- Jabulani. The one that rejoices.
- Junior. Yeah, this little name never goes out of style.
- Kamogelo. Welcome. 💛
- Katlego. Success! 🎉
- Lubanzi. A Zulu name meaning Love of God
- Melokuhle. Of Xhosa origin, Melokuhle means to stand for what is right.
- Mpho. Meaning gift 🎁, this lovely name is gender non-specific.
- Onkarabile. God has answered our prayers.
- Rufaro. God has answered our prayers. 🙏🏾This name has Shona origins.
- Sbusiso. Blessed. 💗
- Simbarashe. The Power of God. And if you’re looking for cute african boy names, this mighty name shortens to sweet Simba.
- Sizwe. A common Zulu name with a unifying meaning: nation.
- Tau. Lion. 🦁
- Teboho. Thankful. Peace.
- Thulani. The quiet one.
- Tshepiso. Promise.
East African boy names
(East Africa includes Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Somaliland, Tanzania, and Uganda.)
- Abasi. Means stern. Don’t mess with this little guy.
- Amare. With its Ethiopian origins, it means handsome boy.
- Azizi. The precious one.
- Badru. Born at the full moon. 🌕
- Bwana. Sir. Gentleman. The big boss.
- Dalmar. An interesting Somali name meaning versatile.
- Damu, the child of Enki, the god of vegetation. 🥬 A fruitful start.
- Ibrahim. Father of many children.
- Jomo. Farmer. 🚜
- Juma. Born on a Friday.
- Mosi. First born child.
- Mwenye. Owner. Lord. Boss. A real power name.
- Omari. Praise God.
- Radhi. Forgiveness.
- Tafari. He who inspires awe. 🌠
West African boy names
(West Africa is made up of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha.)
- Abiola. Of Yoruba origin, this name means born in honor and riches. 💸
- Abrafo. A Ghanaian name meaning warrior.
- Addo. For the King of the Road.
- Adisa. The clear one. Worth having at least one of these in a family.
- Amadi. Free man.
- Babatunde. The father has returned.
- Baako. For the firstborn child.
- Chidike. God is strong.
- Chinua means God’s Own Blessing—a great name to have when Things Fall Apart. 📕
- Chuks. Short for Chukwuemeka, it means God did great things. (And don’t you just want to call every cute baby Chuks?)
- Dzigbode. A name from Ghana that means patience.
- Fela. Happy and lucky. And, um, Fela Kuti. ♪♩
- Jawara. Lover of peace. 💙
- Kaikura means like a squirrel.🐿️ Might be appropriate?
North African boy names
(This area includes Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.)
- Ahmed. Highly praised or praising.
- Ashraf. Distinguished. Noble.
- Baahir. Dazzling, bright and brilliant. ✨
- Babu. In Egypt, this means Osiris’s firstborn. Osiris is the God of, amongst other things, fertility and agriculture.
- Bahman. The 11th month of the Persian calendar, Bahman means snow avalanche.
- Bassel. Brave.
- Essam. Safeguard. Protect.
- Gamal. God is my reward.
- Halif. Ally. One who promises.
- Hasani. Handsome one—the name every mama wants to give her son.
- Khalid. Immortal.
- Mahmoud. The praised one.
- Malik. King. 👑
- Moustafa. As one of the names of Muhammad, it means chosen one.
- Nabil. Noble.
- Nakia. Pure and faithful.
- Ramses. Son of the sun god, Ra. ☀️
- Shakir. Grateful.
- Tariq. To strike. To take action.
- Youssef. God grows in power.
- Zuberi. Strong.
And because Africa expands beyond the continent:
African American boy names
- Antoine. A French name that appears all over the globe, Antoine means praiseworthy.
- Cornell. A popular name after one of the smartest birds in the world— the crow.
- Darius. Rich and kingly. 👑
- Darnell. The hidden spot. 🔍
- Demetrius. An ancient Greek name, it means earth lover. 🌱
- Denzel. Wild one. What are strong male names? This one might top the list.
- Elijah. God is powerful.
- Grady. An old Irish name meaning noble.
- Izaak. Laughter. 💖
- Jayden. Thankful. 🙏🏾 And from sportsmen to musicians, there are a bunch of famous ones.
- Jeremiah. God will uplift.
- Kofi. Born on a Friday.
- Marcel. Young warrior. Belonging to Mars.
- Marquis. An old French name that means noble.
- Raffiel. Healer.
- Terrell. Stubborn.
- Terrence. Smooooooth.
- Treyvon. Gift from God shining from the sun.
- Xavier. Of Spanish origin, it means bright, splendid, new. 🔆
- Zahair. Blossoming. 🌼
Uhambe kakuhle, mama.
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